Value Plays for the 2022 Test Stakes

August 4th, 2022

A field of seven sophomore fillies will run seven-eighths on the Saratoga main course in Saturday’s $500,000 Test S. (G1). The cast lacks substantial depth and is led by overwhelming favorite #1 Matareya (2-5) for conditioner Brad Cox. While I do not expect the classy Godolphin homebred to be defeated in this tilt, I do think that there is value in the contest in the vertical exotics.

Matareya sports a lifetime line that reads 8-5-2-0, with four wins in succession highlighting her mark. The Pioneerof the Nile filly dominated the Beaumont S. (G3) at Keeneland in April, rallied for a decisive tally in the Eight Belles S. (G2) at Churchill Downs in her next outing, and reached her highest level with a facile triumph in the Acorn S. (G1) at Belmont last time out.

The three-year-old has won from on or off the pace in proving her versatility, and unless she receives a horrific voyage from the fence, I can’t envision her being stopped on Saturday. Flavien Prat retains the mount atop the surging lass.

With the likelihood of a fast and contested early tempo, I will tab a pair of late runners to fill out the exacta, each at a healthy morning-line number.

Last year's Bolton Landing Stakes heroine #7 Chi Town Lady (15-1) is not overly consistent at this stage of her development, but the Wesley Ward pupil has displayed a solid turn of foot in two of her last three races and could grab a late share at a big price. The Castleton Lyons homebred was runner-up to a nice one in Parlance beneath the Twin Spires in May and could finish in a similar spot with a big run off the short layoff in this affair. Joel Rosario will be in the stirrups.

Tom Albertrani’s #2 Sterling Silver (15-1) is three-for-four in one-turn tilts and will be primed for a good showing while making her local debut. The Cupid filly was a game third in the Victory Ride S. (G3) at Belmont in her latest endeavor and will save ground throughout on Saturday under Trevor McCarthy. The Empire State-bred has posted a pair of useful morning drills on the strip and will make one run late from the back of the pack.

Test Value Plays

  • $25 exacta: 1 with 7 ($25)
  • $15 exacta: 1 with 2 ($15)

There is a ton of action at Saratoga this weekend! Check out the free Brisnet PPs for the Whitney Stakes below along with the full card.